ALA announces theme and titles for new round of Great Stories CLUB

For Immediate Release
Tue, 08/24/2010


Angela Thullen

Book club program will target underserved, troubled teen populations

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) announced the theme and book titles for the fourth round of Great Stories CLUB grants.  Electronic applications for the reading and discussion series will be accepted Sept. 13 through Nov. 19 at Funding was provided for this program by Oprah's Angel Network.

YALSA's Outreach to Young Adults with Special Needs Interest Group selected “Second Chances” as the Great Stories CLUB theme, along with the following titles:

  • “Hate List” by Jennifer Brown (Little, Brown Books, 2009)
  • “Dope Sick” by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad, 2009)
  • “The Brothers Torres” by Coert Voorhees (Hyperion, 2009)

Launched in 2005, the Great Stories CLUB (Connecting Libraries, Underserved teens and Books) is a book club program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives. All types of libraries (public, school, academic and special) located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens in the United States and its territories are eligible to apply for a Great Stories Club grant. Potential organizations for Great Stories CLUB partnership include juvenile justice facilities, drug rehabilitation centers, nonprofits serving teen parents, alternative high schools, agencies serving teenage foster children, shelters serving homeless and runaway youth and other agencies. For tips on creating a partnership, visit

Following the application process, 150 libraries will be selected to develop a book discussion program for teens based on the three theme-related titles and will be given copies of the books to share with each participant. Participating libraries will also receive access to an online toolkit to support the program, including sample discussion questions, recommended titles for further reading and other resources. Small cash grants ($100-$200) will be awarded to up to 25 sites for the support of program-related expenses.

For more information on the Great Stories CLUB, including guidelines, book descriptions and application instructions, visit

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included the “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, LIVE! @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information on the ALA Public Programs Office, visit

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, (800) 545-2433, ext. 4390, or e-mail,

Oprah’s Angel Network has funded over 200 grants and projects in more than 30 countries around the world in order to improve access to education, protect basic rights, create communities of support and develop leaders of tomorrow. The Angel Network was born from “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and its viewers’ desire to make a difference in the lives of others. The funding part of the charity is drawing to a close, but the spirit of the Angel Network will live on through the stories on its website. To learn more about the history of Oprah’s Angel Network visit: